Lasers promise quantum breakthough

laserDartmouth scientists and their colleagues have emerged from their smoke filled labs with a laser that uses a single artificial atom to generate and emit particles of light.

The laser may play a key role in the development of quantum computers.

According to the journal Physical Review B, which we get for the spot the neutron competition, the new laser is the first to rely exclusively on superconducting electron pairs.

Alex Rimberg, a professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth said that the fact the laser only uses only superconducting pairs means that that electrical energy can travel without any resistance or loss of energy.

The artificial atom is made of nanoscale pieces of superconductor which you can make part of an electrical circuit on a chip, something you can’t do with a real atom. It means that there is now a much clearer path toward interesting applications in quantum computing.

Light from the laser is produced by applying electricity to the artificial atom. This causes electrons to hop across the atom and, in the process, produce photons that are trapped between two superconducting mirrors.

With the new laser, electrical energy is converted to light that has the ability to transmit information to and from a quantum computer.

“With a quantum computer, you have to get the information from point A to point B,” he says. “A computer that does a calculation but has no way of getting the information anywhere else isn’t particularly useful. Our laser might offer an easy way of producing the kinds of weird quantum states of light that could be used to carry quantum information around.”